Why it’s Important to Work Out Why
Do you find yourself doing things that you don’t want to do? If so, this passage from Romans may well describe your predicament:
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” Romans 7:15-20
Often, deep down, we want to do something, but for some reason we just don’t do it and instead we keep doing something we don’t want to do. The good news is that it’s possible to break free from this situation. Watch the video or read the blog below to find out how!
Do you have habits that you’re not proud of? Maybe these include:
- scrolling too much on your phone,
- spending too long on Facebook,
- staying up too late,
- binge eating,
- drinking too many soft drinks, or alcohol, or caffeine,
- not exercising.
First, it’s OK! We all have things we’re working on and we’re not going to be perfect in every area; this is a journey. But this is also a problem if we carry on without making changes, because we won’t meet the goals we set for ourselves, we won’t get to where we want to go, and our habits won’t line up with the person that we want to be. We’ll be living disjointed and divided lives, impacting the way we view ourselves and the way we serve God and others. We need to get over this if we are to experience true freedom, to truly be ourselves in all situations, and to serve God.
Here are 5 steps that will help you to experience freedom in these areas.
1. Pause and recognise what’s going on
It’s important we don’t ignore issues or sweep things under the carpet, but instead we need to bring them into the light. You don’t necessarily need to share your struggles with lots of other people, but it can help to talk about things and at the very least, talk to God. If things are hidden in the darkness, then we’re never going to be able to deal with them or break free. The first step is to pause and recognise when there’s something that you’re not happy with but you seem to be doing anyway, just like it says in the Bible passage.
2. Agree with yourself and God that you want to change
This is a really important step, because if you really don’t want to change, then there is no problem, you are not divided and that is who you want to be. But if you do want to move on then admitting it to yourself and God is key!
3. Work out the ‘why’.
This is the critical question: why are you doing this thing you don’t want to be doing? It may take some time and effort to work this out, but you could ask yourself:
- Is it because you’re frightened that if you give it a good shot you won’t succeed, and you may fail?
- Are you doing it because you need some comfort? Perhaps you are comfort-eating?
- Do you need some encouragement in a certain area, and you feel your habit gives you that encouragement?
- Are you just thirsty and just drinking the wrong things?
- Are you actually hungry, because you’re restricting yourself in other ways?
- Are you doing it because you’re self-sabotaging?
- Do you have doubts, lack self-belief or lack faith in what God can do?
It can take time to work out what’s really going on, but a good place to start is to have a conversation with yourself to ask “why?” and answer “because…” until you get to the root of your behaviour.
For example, you might have a habit of eating a packet of biscuits every time you sit down to watch TV. So, your conversation might go something like this:
“Why do I eat the biscuits? Because I feel like I need to do something when my hands… But why? Because I’m so used to it…. or because I’m worried that I’ll go on my phone if I don’t… But why? Because I’m bored or because I’m lonely…” And so on, until you work out exactly why you do the things you do.
4. Get support.
Once you’ve worked out the why, you need to get some support to make the changes you want to make. Get this from God, through prayer, from yourself, and by changing your environment, so it is conducive to the other changes you want to make.
5. Revisit the original need.
To move forward you need to deal with the original problem rather than putting a plaster over the wound and carrying on. The only way that you’ll be able to change the habit, is by replacing that habit with something that actually meets the real need. That could be:
- seeking some support and encouragement from a friend,
- spending time with God,
- drinking some water,
- making sure that you have a filling dinner,
- reading a book,
- reading your Bible,
- going out for a walk.
5. Take Small Steps
Change won’t happen overnight, but by taking some small steps towards making tiny changes, you can change your path and the trajectory that you are on. And on this journey it’s important to have a positive mindset. If you mis-step, rather than thinking “I’ve messed up, I’ve blown it!” instead, work out why you did what you did and learn from it. And have a positive mindset. Rather than thinking ‘I’ve messed up now, I’ve blown it!’ instead consider why you did what you did and learn from it, so next time you can make a little change for the better. And if you follow these steps for each of the habits that you want to change, one at a time, then I believe you will find freedom in this area.
If you need more help delving into these steps and working out exactly why you’re not doing what you want to be doing and what you’re seeking, then why not join me on the next Healthy Whole and Free course which kicks off next week, on Wednesday 29th September. It’s a 12-week program where I’ll be with you every step of the way. We’ll work out what’s really going on for you, why you have unhealthy habits and behaviours, and why you are stuck in certain patterns you can’t get out of. I’d love I will help you get through all that to freedom on the other side. You can sign up here.